LAFAYETTE — Confidence résumés. Attack posters. And a short memory from a 2013 season that fell short of expectations.
Louisiana-Lafayette senior outfielder Shelbi Redfearn has used all those motivational tools to help erase memories of a dismal 2013 and become one of the Cajuns’ key hitters this season.
Redfearn has developed into one of the offensive producers in the middle of the lineup for UL-Lafayette this year with a career-high 13 home runs and 40 RBIs.
This weekend, the Cajuns will rely on Redfearn again when UL-Lafayette hosts an NCAA regional softball tournament beginning Friday at Lamson Park.
UL-Lafayette opens the tournament against Texas Southern on Friday, following an opening-round game that features second-seeded Texas playing third-seeded Mississippi State.
After playing 95 games in two seasons at Baylor, Redfearn transferred to UL-Lafayette for 2012, but stared only once and finished batting .083 with one home run in 27 games.
The adjustment from playing at Baylor to UL-Lafayette wasn’t as smooth as she had initially hoped, Redfearn said.
One problem, said Redfearn, was changing from the type of swing that she had used during her formative seasons to a style used by the Cajuns.
“I had trouble adjusting to that, and my confidence was also low. I struggled with (a new swing) and bumping that up to a level where I needed to be,” she said.
“One thing that happened is I learned from last year. Had I not had last year, I would not have learned or grown from it. You really can’t dwell on what happened last year because you couldn’t change it.
“I started fresh this season because that’s what I needed to do to help this team. The best plan of action to take is forget about what happened and take what I needed to grow and leave the bad stuff behind.”
UL-Lafayette second baseman Natalie Fernandez said Redfearn is a totally different player now.
“I think it’s definitely her mindset,” Fernandez said. “Last year she came in with a different mindset than what we all had and didn’t fully invest in it. This year is 100-percent invested in it and it’s paid off.”
Fernandez said she started to notice a change in Redfearn during fall workouts.
“I think I saw that happen during our whole mental training process in January,” Fernandez said.
Redfearn said the mental training exercises helped her focus more when she steps into the batter’s box.
The confidence resumes she and her teammates built during the offseason included mental conceps of situations in which they did something that impressed their teammates.
“When you get in tough situations during the season, you think about what you’ve put on your confidence resume and you want to relive that same feeling,” Redfearn said.
The team’s “attack posters” contain words or phrases that remind Redfearn and her teammates about what it takes to succeed.
“You think about attack and winning this pitch, for instance, using that word to remind us of what we need to do to succeed,” Redfearn said.
Redfearn put her mental training into use last Saturday when her three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning gave the Cajuns a three-run lead in their 4-1 victory over South Alabama, which clinched a Sun Belt Conference title at Lamson Park.